VIRENDRA SHARMA, the newly-elected MP for Ealing Southall, has been speaking to the Ealing Times about his first week in office.

Mr Sharma had a resounding victory in the recent by-election and was immediately thrown into the political cauldron of Westminster last Monday morning.

He said: "It's quite a learning curve I'm on at the moment, especially learning about the people and finding my way around the various corridors.

"I will not be making my maiden speech until after the recess, as that will give me more time to find my feet."

The Labour MP attended his first day of debate on Tuesday and took part in three divisions, voting with the Government every time.

A Sri Lankan television station, Tharisanam TV, interviewed the 60-year-old in his home last Monday about a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers on hunger strike in protest at being deported from Harmondsworth Immigration Centre.

He said: "They were asking me to intervene, but I said that as a new MP I would need to speak to my advisers.

"I told them that I would speak to Keith Vaz, who is chairman of an all-party Parliamentary group, but that I did not know who these people are.

"I also spoke to my neighbouring MP (John McDonnell) about the problem."